Lack of sleep can increase your appetite during the day, and strengthen sugar cravings. Here are a handful of tips for getting better sleep:
Wind down! At least one hour before bedtime, start quieting down and relaxing. Don’t exercise or engage in stressful thoughts or activities.
Turn off the handheld devices. The stress of feeling like you need to constantly stay connected via text, email, or Facebook is a real problem for many when it comes to getting to sleep. Plus, some studies show the electronic signals from phones and tablets can disrupt sleep and melatonin production. Turn off your devices and keep them out of the bedroom!
Read a magazine or book for fun. Lighter content or shorter articles are ideal.
Darken the room. Turn off the TV and close the curtains or blinds. Darkness is important for deep sleep.
Diminish noise. Experiment with using a sound machine to create white noise or experiment with soothing noises such as rain or the lap of waves. Ceiling fans and air filters can work too.
Create a comfortable environment. A slightly cool room temperature, bedding, mattress, and sleepwear are ideal for comfortable sleep.
Go to the bathroom first. Waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom is a common complaint. If this is a consistent problem for you, do not eat or drink several hours before bed.
Check medications and nutrition supplements. Some people who take medications or supplements before bed may do better to take them in the morning when they wake up. Talk to your physician or nutrition counselor about changing your pill schedule if you think that you may be catching a buzz from your pillbox.
Write down solutions. Jot down a solution or plan to one worry, errand, or problem that’s on your plate for tomorrow. This helps to allay anxieties, organize thoughts, and reduce worrying.
Have a regular sleep routine. Aim for going to bed near the same time every night to build routine and consistency. Don’t sleep in too late on your days off.
Don’t drink alcohol before bed. Alcohol does make you sleepy by dropping your blood sugar, but that can raise cortisol levels and wake you up in the middle of the night. Limit yourself to one drink before bedtime.
Think happy thoughts. Focusing on stressful events or worrying about the future are sure ways to make sure you spend the night staring at the ceiling. Focus on peaceful, happy thoughts and save your to-do list for tomorrow morning.